Tenant rights union in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A grassroots organization is taking steps to protect tenants’ rights.
The Ross Foundation is putting together the tenants rights union.
The Ross Foundation said many low-income residents may be dealing with terrible living conditions or problematic landlords. Those residents may not know what to do to fix the problem. He said the union will help point them in the right direction.
News 8 spoke to a woman, who didn’t want to give her name, who has lived at the Forest Ridge Apartments for seven years. She said it hasn’t always felt like home. “Who do you call who do you reach out to for stuff like this things of that nature?”
She said she’s had problems with leaking water, theft, dirty carpets and more. While some things have been fixed, she said, it’s not enough. She’s looking to the Ross Foundation for help.
Dee Ross is the founder. The group works to provide resources to the community. Its latest resource is the tenant rights union. It’s particularly for tenants who living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
It’s made up of lawyers, judges, social workers, health experts and more people who will inform tenants of their rights and get them help.
“We have to stand up for these tenants and we’ve got to hold people accountable. These property managers have been getting by for so long,” Ross said.
He said they’ve been advocating for tenant rights for years. “A lot of tenants, you’d be shocked, wouldn’t know some of the very first steps to take in order to get housing justice.”
He said Indiana has some of the worst tenant laws on the books, and he’s seeing the impact of that.
“We have just surpassed New York City and keep going back-and-forth with New York City for the highest number of evictions and that’s a shame.”
He said the union can’t help everyone, but he hopes it’ll help some and educate others on what to do next.
The property group that managed Forest Ridge apartments told News 8 there are no rules requiring a landlord to replace carpet no matter how long a resident has lived there.
A representative said they offered to clean or replace a tenants carpet for a fee and the offer was denied.
As for the reports of a theft from a door being left open, they said they don’t have any proof of that because a theft wasn’t noted in the police report.
They said they’ll be looking into the other complaints.
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Author: Katiera Winfrey
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